1,000 public hospital workers walk out vs privatization-A A +A
Thursday, October 25, 2012
MANILA -- At least 1,000 health workers of state-owned hospitals walked out Thursday in protest of the ongoing "privatization" of hospitals being run by the government.
Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) media officer Lovely Tanghal said the health workers left their stations during the lunch break from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. to stage a rally in front of their respective hospitals to denounce the privatization program.
At least 26 government-run hospitals are being subjected to privatization under the government's Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program.
The public health workers are against privatization since it could result to higher hospital services and facility fees.
"They are claiming that hospitals will not be privatized but some of its services like laboratories will be passed on to the private sectors. Whichever way, it won't be good to patients," said Tanghal.
For his part, Health Secretary Enrique Ona said there is no problem with the protests as long as it is done during lunch breaks.
"If they want to do that, (do it) from 12 noon to 1 p.m. (otherwise), They cannot do that since they are government employees," said Ona.
He noted how they could face suspension or dismissal from work if their actions disrupt hospital operations since it is barred by the Civil Service Code.
Ona said the Department of Health will be undertaking a massive information campaign in a bid to enlighten the public health workers on the program. (HDT/Sunnex)